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Clayton Police launch crime-fighting initiative

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Clayton County Police officers were out in force in the Rex community Tuesday, conducting road checks on Rex Road, and providing increased police presence in the area near Rex Park.

It was the first effort in a ongoing Target Enforcement Area initiative dubbed Operation T.E.A. Party.

The initiative is aimed at deterring crime in targeted areas of the county, through high police presence and community involvement, according to Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner.

"In this area here (Rex Road), we've noticed a spike in burglaries and thefts," said Turner Tuesday, while monitoring the sweep from the department's mobile command unit.

Each week, police will focus on a different area of the county, according to Turner. "We're going to pour all of our resources into that target area for a week, solid," he said. "We're going to have strict enforcement in that area."

Turner said the divisions and agencies that will be involved include Animal Control, Code Enforcement, Criminal Investigation, Narcotics, Special Operations, and Uniform Patrol.

"We're going to have high police presence," the chief said. "We're going to attack drug issues, and curfew violations, ... children walking the streets at night. If kids are out walking around aimlessly, we're going to find them a location to be, and that's either at home, or with the proper authorities," he said.

Turner said the Clayton County Sheriff's Office will also play a significant role.

"We're aggressively out there trying to serve warrants every day," said Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. Kimbrough said his office will participate in the initiative by serving active warrants in the targeted areas.

Turner said local businesses and neighborhood-watch organizations will also participate by giving feedback to the police department about the initiative.

"We encourage the citizens of Clayton County to continue to voice their concerns and issues to the police department, and together, we will make a difference in the county," he added.